There are a number of communication tools available in Blackboard. Does anyone use announcements or e-mail?One of the advantages of e-mail through Blackboard is that you can send messages to all students on a unit or sub-groups. One disadvantage is that, if not targeted correctly Instructors can receive unwanted e-mails, typically if someone uses an announcement (which is e-mailed to everyone, rather than the e-mail tool which allows you to target users e.g. all students only)!Does anyone use online discussion fora?If so, how have you found them to work? Did students participate?If not common reasons are:1. The discussion forum activity is not sufficiently embedded in the unit so it is not seen by students as relevant or necessary. It is an add-on. 2. Is there a motivation for students to participate? E.g. is the activity assessed or linked to assessment?3. Are instructions clear? Do the students know what they are supposed to do?
Blackboard is used in a range of ways to support assessment, which may be diagnostic, formative or summative.Online submission of assignments using Blackboard has increased significantly over the past couple of years. Students can submit many types of files, and for text documents these can be plagiarism checked through Turnitin which has a plugin for Blackboard.Feedback can be provided in a number of ways: instructors can make marks and comments available to students through the Blackboard Grade Centre, or they can attach feedback files. Some colleagues are experimenting with audio feedback files. Feedback can also be provided via blogs and wikis.Some colleagues also use BB to gather feedback from students e.g. Surveys for unit evaluationsBlackboard is used for objective tests, for example Mark’s tests in the Diversity of Life unitLastly a recent introduction in BB 8 is the self and peer assessment tool, which manages an online process of self and/or peer assessment. This includes:individual submission of assignmentsrandomised allocation of assignments for peer assessmentassessment (self and/or peer)Collation, recording and presentation of marks and feedback
Some ideas for usingBlackboard to support and enhance learning and teaching
What is Blackboard?• Blackboard is the centrally supported institutional online learning environment of the University of Bristol. All students and staff of the university have access. Blackboard provides a range of tools to support learning, teaching and administration.
Main uses of Blackboardinclude:• Resources• Communication• Collaboration• Assessment• Reflection• Administration
Resources can include:• Documents• HTML pages• Mathematical notation• Weblinks• Images• Presentations• Audio / podcasts• Video• RSS feeds …
Communication can include:• Announcements – news and info• E-mail• Discussion fora, e.g. for structured online discussion or FAQs• RSS feeds
Collaboration can include:• Group tools (e.g. file exchange, group assignments) and areas• Wikis – an easily editable web page, which stores a history of contributions• Discussion fora
Assessment can include:• Online submission of assignments• Provision (& gathering) of feedback• Objective tests (quizzes) – formative or summative• Self and peer assessment